Analysing storm tracks
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) maintains a series of energy infrastructure maps that track weather systems with the potential to disrupt energy infrastructures (storage facilities, processing plants, offshore platforms and so on). The maps, based on data from a variety of government organisations including the Depts. of Transportation, Commerce and the Interior and a number of external sources, track the location of hurricanes and other significant storms in real-time. The EIA site also maintains a number of historical reports dating back to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The maps are available to download in a variety of image formats and an inventory of the source data sets is also provided.
For anyone interested in learning more about how to access, download and analyse hurricane data, have a look at one of the exercises that accompanies The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data. Exercise 5 describes some of the online resources for shoreline, oil and gas infrastructure, hydrography, imagery and hazardous waste sites data, along with tracking information for Hurricane Rita. The exercise focuses on assessing the impact of hurricanes along the south coast of the US state of Texas, and the effect on both the natural and man-made environments.